Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Huahine - Our favorite island so far

Our most favorite island so far. Spent 2 weeks and could have done more.

Huahine (waa-hee-nee) is an off the beaten path island. There is not much tourism. There are not that many non-polynesians. We anchored at the town of Fare after an overnight sail from Moorea. During our morning arrival, we saw a sailboat that hit the reef a day prior. What a shame.

We had some boat work to do for the first few days and then we started to explore. We went to a Tahitian Dance and dinner at the Bali Hai Hotel that were anchored in front of.

Tahitian Dance
We made new friends and saw old friends. Atmo and Petra from ELFRUM came in and we went bike riding to the ancient Marae (Temples). We met Mark on TEVAKE and Simon and the gang on SKIMPY. Zack, Suzie, and Ronan on WENDY ELLEN were there and we got together two nights of Vegetarian Pot Luck. One night after Happy Hour at the 'Yacht Club', we followed the sound of drums to a Tahitian Dance practice at the school playground. Very interesting and so nice to see they are keeping their Polynesian culture well and alive. Everyone speaks French but they also speak Tahitian between each other and seem to prefer it. Huahine in pre-European times was the center of government for the Society Islands. Many Kings and Priests lived there and there are lots of Marae and probably had their share of human sacrifices to the Gods.

Banyan Tree by the Marae
We went down to the Southwest anchorage for a few nights and got boarded by a French Customs patrol boat. They figured we had too much wine and gave us a $300 penalty. Oh well, it's still cheaper than buying it here. This is not a place for people on a budget. Laundry was cheaper here that the Marquesas but was still $50 for 2 loads.

Ancient Marae up in the hills.

We rode our bikes around the North Island of Huahine Nui (Big Huahine). We stopped and saw the Sacred Eels in Faie. They were 3-5 feet long and live in a fresh water stream. They were friendly and thought we brought them food.  Sorry guys, we didn't  Ancient legend has it that:

"The first eel crawled across the mountains from a pool in Arue, on the north coast of Tahiti.

Feeling lonely, the eel married a beautiful maiden from Mataiea on Huahine, after much courting and splashing about the water. The present day inhabitants supposedly descend from this couple."

View of the East Coast looking South

The 'Seat for the Gods'
The Blue Eye Sacred Eel

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